For those of you new to the series it is part of the Colin McRae DiRT series although it is the second following DiRT 3 to drop his name. Dirt Showdown is different than the previous iterations offering more track type racing and arena events. Dirt Showdown does it differently, giving just a tiny taste of the same while providing something new and interesting.
Dirt Showdown starts you off with a well designed menu system. Everything is laid nicely out in front of you and is very easy to access. It is easy to navigate with a mouse and keyboard as well as your controller of choice (I am using the xbox360 Wired Controller). There are a ton of setting so you can fine tune the performance of your game to your hardware as well as change controls and other settings. It also adds easy access to RaceNet which is Codemasters online leader boards and Dirt community.
There is also the multiplayer. The multiplayer allows you to play online with friends and strangers in any of the races and competitions. On top of that you can send your times and scores to your RaceNET account as well as challenge your friends. You can also view right off the bat how well you have done compared to your friends. Your steam friends list is imported to create a local leader board that shows all your friends’ times if they happen to own the game.
Graphically the game is just as pretty as previous renditions. The worlds are really smooth, and the cars all shine in the sun. Damage looks realistic to a point, then it starts to look and feel a little much. You might begin to think, how am I still driving. It does add a dramatic feel to the arcade racer so it isn’t a bad thing. Levels also load pretty fast despite the quality. During some races and instances I did notice some jagged edges and texture glitches. The physics are pretty basic even as an arcade racer and that can make the game feel a little less then what it is.
In the end, the game can only provide so much. Although fun for awhile, it becomes the same stuff over and over again. It holds just a mere essence of the rally racing we love from previous installments, and even that doesn’t feel the same as most of the actual racing maps are short. The new game modes are a nice change of pase but with the lack of the original challenges and races the game feels light for $50. Dirt Showdown can provide a few hours of fun but you might want to wait until the bargain bin.